“Nuclear giants buy their way out for 18 billion”
The expert commission on financing the nuclear clean-up will suggest to the government that utilities transfer their responsibility for storing nuclear waste to the state, at a cost of 18 billion euros, report Martin Greive and Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt. The commission is likely to include the proposal in its report, due to be published soon. For the nuclear utilities, and particularly struggling RWE, the transfer of responsibilities would be a huge relief, write Greive and Wetzel. Unlike nuclear storage, responsibility for deconstructing nuclear power plants would remain squarely with the utlitites.
Read the article in German here.
Read a CLEW factsheet on securing utility payments for the nuclear clean-up here.
“An end to the horror”
The nuclear expert commission's plans for financing the nuclear clean-up are not a cause for celebration for the utilities, writes Klaus Stratmann in a commentary for business daily Handelsblatt, but at least they offer the prospect of planning security. “The commission is on course for a balanced result,” writes Stratmann. The final report shows the commission has no intention of pushing the utilities over the brink, according to Stratmann. “The companies are meant to have a real chance of survival.” He says the financial risks of deconstructing the power plants are relatively small, compared to the risks associated with final storage.
Read an article by Stratmann on the commission's results in English here.
“Threat of demise”
RWE's announcement that it would not pay dividends to its shareholders hits many municipalities hard, but it appears to be mainly a threat, writes Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Germany’s second largest utility announced plans to suspend dividend payments in the final phase of negotiations over the responsibilities for the phase-out. A little pressure can help in this situation.”
Read the commentary in German here.
German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE)
“Germany misses climate targets”
With current government policies, Germany will clearly miss its climate targets and must therefore push renewables in all sectors, according to a study commissioned by the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE). In a business-as-usual scenario, German CO2 emissions will only fall by 32 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, whereas the target is to reduce emissions by 40 percent. By 2050, emissions would be reduced by 58 percent with current policies, compared to a target of 80 to 95 percent, according to the study.
Find the press release and the study in German here.
Find a CLEW factsheet on Germany climate targets here.
“Paris Agreement forces Germany to roll out renewables much faster”
To comply with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, developed countries like Germany must cut CO2 emissions to zero before 2035, according to a study by the NewClimate Instiute, commissioned by Greenpeace. The share of renewables in the energy mix (electricity production, building heating and cooling, industry and transport) should therefore reach 100 percent in Germany before that date, with lignite and hard coal phased out of electricity production by 2025, write the authors. “Instead, economy minister Sigmar Gabriel is even putting the breaks on the development of wind and solar energy,” according to a Greenpeace press release.
Find the study with a summary in English here.
“UK needs an ‘Energiewende’, says energy industry chief”
Energy UK chief executive Lawrence Slade said the UK needs a national conversation and narrative around the fundamental changes going on the UK energy sector, reports Simon Evans in CarbonBrief. “I suppose, yes, we do need our own version of the Energiewende…I think the industry is ready for it. I think government’s, perhaps slightly struggling with how to create the policy to bring all of this together. I think the general public and commentators are another step further behind,” Slade said. Germany’s Energiewende is routinely either lauded or ridiculed by the UK press, writes Evans.
Read the article in English here.
Handelsblatt Global Edition
“The Dieselgate Contagion”
Diesel car sales for Mercedes and BMW plunged more than 60 percent in the US in January as the taint from VW emissions scandal spread to other German carmakers, report Martin Murphy and Anja Müller in Handelsblatt Global Edition. US regulators are reportedly trying to force VW to produce an e-car in the US and construct charging stations as part of a recall agreement, according to the article.
Find the article in English here (behind paywall) here.
See a CLEW dossier on transport and the Energiewende here.
“Stagnation of air freight in 2015”
Air freight shipments in Germany stagnated last year compared to 2014, according to statistics agency Destatis. “As in 2014, loaded and unloaded goods reached a level of 4.3 million tonnes. Cargo carried abroad (2.2 million tonnes) grew by 0.3 percent whereas freight received from abroad (2.0 million tons) decreased by 0.8 percent.”
Find the press release in English here.